Once you are a licensed massage therapist, there are many ways you can begin your massage career. Whether it be working alone, in a spa, or your own practice, there are many options, but which one is right for you?

When you are running your own private practice, it provides freedom and flexibility. You can choose the space you work in, the hours and times you are available to your clients, scheduling, fees, and what you practice within the legal limits of your licensure. You also get 100% of the revenue as it comes in.

However, working alone can be lonely and at times stressful. You are the only one working, do every job in a business, until you make enough money to bring in more employees or an assistant. Working alone can be slightly dangerous, especially when you bring in unknown clients into your home, or go to theirs.

Working privately, you may also find that it is expensive. You are fully in charge of all costs involved with your business including equipment, rent, licenses etc. As the sole practitioner you do not get benefits as you could working as an employee.

Working for an employer, you don’t get to choose your availability, how long your treatments are, your hours, your pay, or anything you would when working for yourself. You also may not have as much choice in treatment of you clients. As far as clients go, you will not be able to choose them. You are required to work on them as they come through the door.

Some employers will require massage therapists to perform other duties outside of massage therapy, such as other salon offerings or administrative duties. If you like this variety it may be a good option for you.

On the plus side, you could use the employer’s equipment, not having to purchase your own. And when the time comes for continuing education, you may be able to use your employer as a training and studying site.

Working for an employer, you have everyone working as a team. And you have one job, not every job in the business.

Whether you are working at home by yourself, or decide to work in a spa or salon, you should find what is the best fit for you, based on your personality, preferences, training, and what will provide the best experience for your clients.